The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has received an award from UK parliamentarians for his work in helping to promote ecologically friendly causes - including a Church of England carbon-cutting campaign.
The award, presented by the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group, recognises the work of the Archbishop and the Church of England in promoting sustainable energy issues to the public and to policy makers.
The award was accepted last week on the Archbishop’s behalf by Claire Foster, who is the Church of England’s lead policy officer on environmental matters, as Dr Williams was on a period of study leave in the US at the time.
She said that the Archbishop’s leadership had clearly had an impact: “It was a great privilege to receive the Archbishop's award on his behalf. It is a recognition that moral and spiritual leadership are needed to face the challenge of global warming, and that the Archbishop offers this. He speaks truth to power: is power listening?”
A Lambeth Palace spokesperson added that the award recognised the importance of the issue for faith communities. "The Church of England has made climate change and environmental sustainability central issues in recent years, at home and overseas. This award for the Archbishop of Canterbury from PRESAG members is a timely recognition of the central role people of faith have in providing for the responsible stewardship of our planet."
He continue: "The ethical aspect of the challenge of climate change is increasingly recognised, and in choosing to confer this award on the Archbishop, PRESAG [the Associate Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group] acknowledges just how important moral and spiritual leadership on environmental matters continues to be."
The Church of England is currently engaged in a national campaign known as Shrinking the Footprint (www.shrinkingthefootprint.cofe.anglican.org)
PRASEG, the Associate Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group, is the cross party group for UK politicians and senior industry stakeholders that exists to promote sustainable energy issues in Parliament and the wider political community. Its chair is Dr Alan Whitehead MP.